Sunday, November 22, 2020

Sunday Night Reflections


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Sunday's Soup/Glazed Maple Carrot Soup

 It's been quite a while since I've posted a soup recipe, but I'm back with a good one, if I say so myself. I've posted a number of carrot soups, but what I especially like about this one is that it is truly perfect for the upcoming holidays. And such a nice change from the traditional pumpkin soups. It's quite easy to make, and will freeze beautifully. And too, it's quite aromatic, so it will make your home smell so inviting. 

Begin with 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a large pot. Add 2 large yellow onions and saute until tender.

Add 3 cloves of finely chopped garlic and 3 pounds of chopped carrots. Saute until the carrots glisten, and are glazed with the oil. 

Add 8 cups of vegetable broth, and 3 bay leaves. Cook over medium heat until carrots are tender, about 30 minutes. Add 1/2 cup of maple syrup, 1 tablespoon ground coriander, and 1/4 cup of fresh squeezed lime juice. Remove bay leaves, and using a blender or hand held blending wand, blend soup to a smooth consistency. 

Ladle soup into your favorite soup bowls. Garnish with freshly chopped cilantro and a drizzle of maple syrup. YUM!!! :)

Glazed Maple Carrot Soup
serves 12

3 tablespoons olive oil
2 large yellow onions chopped
3 cloves garlic finely minced
3 pounds carrots chopped
3 bay leaves
8 cups vegetable broth
1/2 cup maple syrup
1 tablespoon ground coriander
1/4 cup fresh squeezed lime juice
fresh cilantro for garnish
salt and black pepper to taste

Pour olive oil into large soup pot. Add chopped onions and saute until tender. Add minced garlic and chopped carrots. Saute until carrots are glazed with oil, about 5 minutes.
Add vegetable broth, and bay leaves, bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until carrots are tender, about 30 minutes.
Add maple syrup, lime juice, and coriander. Remove bay leaves. Using a blender, or hand held mixing wand, puree soup until smooth. 
Serve soup with freshly chopped cilantro and a drizzle of maple syrup. 

If you give the soup a try, I so hope you enjoy it!

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Friday, November 13, 2020

A Little Work, A Little Time, But It's All Worth It

I am almost 5 months into my challenge, and I am loving it more with each passing day. First of all, I am really wearing my clothes, and that's just the best! The challenge has caused me to look very closely at what's in my closet, and to really focus on what's there. Another wonderful aspect of the challenge is that while I do not sew everyday(while many think I must), it has inspired me to sew more, and I love that. I have been pulling pieces out of my collection, and I am so excited about getting new pieces made. I came across a wonderful quilted knit piece that I had completely forgotten that I had. So excited!!!You'll see it made up soon!

With today's post, we are starting with October 17th. I had made the t-shirt from Vogue 9108. To be honest, I wasn't happy with how it turned out. The fit is just a little off. But, it's wearable. I did not make the leggings from the pattern, but used the Sew News Loveland Leggings pattern. Since I had the t-shirt and the leggings made, I wanted to wear them, but didn't have time to get the tunic together, so I whipped up a little rectangle skirt from my Fabulous Free Pattern Friday series. It's just 1 rectangle,and 1 seam. Doesn't get any easier. You can find the instructions HERE. I felt like I was channeling my inner Janice Joplin. All I needed was a feather boa :)


This sweater languished in a bag, all knitted and ready to be sewn together, in my closet for I don't know how long. Finally, I got it out, and finished it, and I could not be happier!!!

This is a picture of the original Rowan pattern. I rather like mine better;) I used yarn that I had purchased at a Lorna's Laces warehouse sale. The only problem is that I look a little like Robin Hood, oh well ;)  

You've seen both the top and the leggings before, just not together. That's another wonderful aspect of the challenge, because I am paying more attention, I am seeing pieces that work with other pieces that I may not have paid attention to in the past. The top is the free Monroe Turtleneck pattern from Tessuti Fabrics. The leggings are a fabulous pattern from Helen's Closet, the Avery Leggings.  

I made the top I am wearing last winter using Simplicity 9017. The neckline is especially nice. I had enough of the fabric to squeeze out a skirt using the Naughty Bobbins Equinox skirt pattern. I really like this pattern as it has back darts at the waist that gives a beautiful sleek fit.    

This was a buy the fabric and bring it home and make it immediately ensemble. Some friends had given me a gift certificate to Elfrieda's Fine Fabrics in Boulder, CO. So enjoyed my visit. This is a rayon piece that was actually a remnant. Score!!! I made the Salma Wrap from Style Arc, and had enough for a simple skirt.

I think this is the first time in the history of my life that I have purchased fabric, and made up every piece within a week! I was just so excited by the pieces that I purchased at Elfrieda's. I found a piece of corded knit that I just couldn't resist, and they had a bamboo knit that matched it perfectly. I feel like a broken record, but when a pattern works, it works. Here again I made the Loveland Leggings and the Monroe Turtleneck. The only difference with the turtleneck was that I added a strip to the hem to lengthen it a bit.    

Another pattern that has become a favorite is the Off Shoulder Romper the from Ellie and Mac. 

When I saw the rayon remnant at Elfrieda's, I immediately knew that I wanted a Salma Wrap to wear with the romper. Just a perfect piece for giving you an extra bit of warmth. Sadly, I deleted the video of this piece. 

This outfit brings us up to October 24th. It was Saturday, it was cold, and I wanted something simple, so I pulled out a skirt that I made using the free Tessuti Libby A-line skirt pattern. The pattern comes in 3 lengths. Just a great staple pattern for any wardrobe. I paired it with the La Megeve Pullover from Naughty Bobbins Patterns. Both pieces fit the bill for how I was feeling that day :) 

On Sunday it snowed!!! I was soooo happy. But then, I am one of those crazy people who love snow :/ I'm wearing a stretch velvet dress/tunic that is basically an a-line tee. It has side pockets, and small slits at the hem. I paired it with a pair of tights that I made. Sadly, that pattern is not available. But, I will have a post up soon on tight patterns that I have tried and like. Making tights is a blast!!!   

This outfit brings me up to October 27th. I did skip a day. I look at it like this, it's a little like a diet, if you slip up, what's most important is to just keep going. This piece is another that I purchased at Elfrieda's. Such a lovely artistic piece of fabric. I used Vogue 9305 as I felt that the flowy tunic would really show off the fabric. Sadly, it looks like the pattern is out of print, but you can find them on Etsy/Ebay. I'm wearing a pair of pants that you've seen many times. I used the Martha Stewart free pajama pant pattern. It's just a great, basic elastic waist pant pattern.   

If by chance you feel motivated, join me in  my little journey. You don't have to post your pictures everyday, or at all, but I would encourage you to take pictures, even if it's just for yourself. It's amazing how much I have learned about myself, and my clothes over the last almost 5 months. Like any challenge, it has taken a little work, and a little time, but it has all been worth it. 
Until next time....
Sew On!!! 

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Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Time Changes Things...But Does It?

This past Sunday, I was able to spend time with a special member of my family. She had said that I could meet her, and sit with her during her hair appointment, and then we could go for lunch. What I thought would be maybe an hour turned out to be a number of hours since she also had color done. I told her that when I saw the foils come out, I thought, "oh no!!!, I'm going to be sitting here for quite some time." I thought too about what I could possibly do for the next 3 hours :/ As it turned out, the salon had a current edition of Vogue magazine which I had not read. And yes, I read it from cover to cover ;)

I so enjoy Vogue magazine. Always have. Not only do they have wonderful fashion editorials, the writers are amazing, and I always learn something new. In this issue, they had a lovely article on an exhibit that is currently at The Metropolitan Museum of Art entitled, About Time: Fashion and Duration. While most of us will not be able to take a trip to New York City to see the exhibit, we can visit it virtually. 

In the video below, the curator, Andrew Bolton explains the thought process behind the exhibition, and he also walks us through the collection. What an incredible opportunity!   

The video below showcases many of the garments that are in the exhibition. It shows how we are so much a part of our past. It's really quite fascinating.

You can see a few of the pieces that have been paired together HERE. Below is an example.

(Left) Timeline:  Cristóbal Balenciaga (Spanish, 1895–1972). Dress, fall/winter 1958–59 haute couture. Gift of Rosamond Bernier, 1973 (1973.58.1a, b)
(Right) Interruption: Nicolas Ghesquière (French, born 1971) for Louis Vuitton (French, founded 1854). Dress, spring/summer 2018. Courtesy of Collection Louis Vuitton 

I have so enjoyed the virtual tour of this exhibit. 
Both videos will only take about a half hour. Time well spent! And think about it this way, no airline ticket, no crowds, and you can enjoy a cup of tea during your tour. And...you may as well add a lovely sweet treat to go with that cup of tea ;) 


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Thursday, November 5, 2020

Opportunities That Inspire

A few days ago, I came across this little cartoon on Instagram, thought it was cute, and saved it. Well, a friend of mine must have had a telepathy moment, because........  

I went into my garage on Monday evening, and found piles of fabric that weren't there the last time I was in the garage. There was a huge pile on the floor, 

and bolts laying on top of a cabinet!!! I stood there completely puzzled as to how it got there. Once the shock wore off, I realized that the only person who has a key to my garage, other than me is a very special, very long time friend. I sent him a text, and sure enough, he had left it. Mystery solved :)

There are some fabulous pieces in the mix, including 3 wonderful pieces of vintage wool. I have washed 2 of the pieces. One is a lovely, lovely pink. There's a light blue, and a camel. And by the way, you can wash wool, and not felt it. I washed it on a delicate cycle, and dried it on a delicate cycle as well. Both pieces are just so lovely. Can't wait to start cutting into them!!! 

The other pieces are all vintage, and even have the "Made in the Untied States" sticker still on them. Although vintage, the fabric is in pristine condition. I want to make up a few pieces, and just test the fabric out. If I am truly happy with the fabric, I will put quite a bit up for sale on my Etsy site. Like I said, although the fabric is vintage, you can feel the wonderful quality of the fabric. I am just so very excited!!! Such a wonderful gift. I am blessed with such great friends :) The wools I won't sell. What I don't use of those, I have earmarked for a couple of my friends. One is a student, and I know she will be absolutely thrilled to have something lovely.


Most of us are getting to a point where we are sick and tired of not being able to go much of anywhere. We all understand why, but it's so difficult. But, with that said, I think all of this has brought about some wonderful opportunities. For one, so many museums have made their exhibits available online. Most of us don't have the ability to travel the world just to see an exhibit, but now that so many have opened up their exhibits online, we basically can!

I think that it was back in March that I shared a site with you that I love. It's called Cloth Roads. You can find their entire site HERE. Cloth Roads is a global textile marketplace dedicated to creating a marketplace of high quality indigenous textiles. They also have a lively blog that takes you along on their journeys. By all means, check out their blog as it is truly a feast for the eyes. You can also sign up to receive a monthly newsletter that brings you all sorts of wonderful textile information. 

I thought I would just highlight a couple of the exhibits from this month's newsletter that you can view online;

At the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, Ma
This exhibit showcases over 100 works that spans 250 years. 

I have always found Molas to be so very interesting. The Cleveland Museum of Art will have an exhibit that begins November 22nd, and will run through October of 2021.

For those of you who enjoy reading, 

This is not a free publication, but you may be able to find it in your library. You can read more about the book HERE and find links to purchasing options.

The Avenir Museum of Colorado State University will be hosting a lecture on caring for family heirlooms, including fabrics.
The lecture will be via Zoom, and will take place on December 8, 2020. You can read more about it HERE.  

If you have been inspired by Nancy Zieman, you won't want to miss a new documentary on her life entitled. "Extraordinary Grace."    

The documentary will air on Monday, November 23, 2020 at pbswisconsin.org 

So, I hope this will serve to excite you a bit. I am, especially the documentary on Nancy Zieman.

As I typed out about my washing wool, I realized that I might should do a post on washing and caring fabrics. Let me know if you might find that interesting.

Until next time, 
Keep Sewing!!!


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Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Four Months In!

I recently read a book that had a number of exercises to help the reader be much more focused on their surroundings. One of the exercises asked the reader to choose a specific car color, and not something common like black, but rather something like salmon. What I found interesting is that once I was focusing on that particular color, a color that I thought I would not see, it just seemed to pop out of no where. It was such a wonderful exercise, and it showed me that if I focus, I see so much more. 

The word focus would sum up quite well what I am learning through this process of wearing a garment that I've made for 1 year. At this point, I am 4 months into the challenge. My goal is to wear a garment that I've made for 1 year ending on July 1, 2021. I actually began on June 22nd just to give myself a little practice run. I have missed, I think, 3 days, for which I am not going to beat myself up over. I did miss a day this past week. I had a household project that I wanted to accomplish. What I thought would take a few hours took most of the day. Once I finished, all I wanted to do was put on a pair of sweatpants and call it a day (BTW, I did put on a top too!!! ;) 

This post begins with October 7th. 

I made this skirt quite a while ago. One of our former exchange students left behind a sweatshirt. I wore it for a while as a sweatshirt, but it ended up with stains on the front. I just could bear to throw it out. After thinking about it for a while, I decided to play with it and see what I could do. I began by cutting the sleeves off, and then turned it upside down, so the bottom of the sweatshirt is at my waist. I took scraps and made the flowers which covered up the stains. 

I kept the tag and sewed it on the back. Nautica might not appreciate this publicity! 

I now have a skirt that reminds me of a very special student whom I feel is more like a child of my own. 

The top I am wearing is from my Fabulous Free Pattern Friday series. It's a little wacky, but it really is just a rectangle. You can find the instructions HERE. The leggings are the Avery Leggings from Helen's Closet. Such a lovely pattern. 

This turned out to be a very eventful day. I went hiking, and of course took Berkley along. Not long before this picture was taken, I had sat down on a rock to have a picture taken. Berkley saw something and took off like a shot. All I saw was his little butt as he disappeared into the wilderness. He was gone for a good 10 minutes. Oh my, the thoughts that went through my head. The worst was the thought of having to leave the mountain without him, something that would have been almost impossible for me to do. But, the little bugger came back. If you look closely at the picture below, you'll see the leash securely in my hand. I was not about to let go of him!

I'm wearing a pair of cargo pants that I made with a Molly Tee from Pattern Union. The cargo pants were made from an out of print pattern. But you can see my post about these pants HERE. Just the perfect pants for hiking. 

Although the picture is a little fuzzy, you can see how happy I am to have this crazy little guy back in my arms. BTW, I am wearing a cap that I knitted. It's a Nicky Epstein design. I can't remember which book it came from. 

The skirt I am wearing is another piece from my Fabulous Free Pattern Friday Series. It's just 3 rectangles. 

I call it the Sweeping Rectangles Skirt as the 2 rectangles that are along the bottom of the skirt sweep around the top rectangle. Super easy to do. You can find the instructions HERE. The top I am wearing is another Helen's Closet pattern. It's the Elliot Sweater and Tee that has been modified a bit.     

On Sunday, October 11th, we had snow! I so love snow. It was one of those days when something super easy and warm was what I wanted to wear.

So, I pulled out my leggings and cardigan. The leggings are the Loveland Leggings from Sew News, and the cardigan is the Blackwood Cardigan from Helen's Closet. My turtleneck is a purchased piece.  

I felt that I looked a little like Robin Hood in this outfit ;) The skirt I am wearing is nothing more than 2 rectangles, another piece I did for my Fabulous Free Pattern Friday Series. It actually doubles as a top as well. You can find the post HERE. The top is from Friday Pattern Company and it's the Adrienne Blouse. I have fallen in love with this pattern. It's easy to make, and I just love how it sits on the shoulders, as well as the sleeve. Such a lovely piece.    

I made this Pepernoot Jacket from Waffle Patterns for a Sew News sew along. I modified it a bit, leaving off the hood, and doing patch pockets rather than the zippered pockets. This is a garment that will most likely be in my possession until the day I die! I love it that much :) 

I paired the jacket with a self-drafted pencil skirt, and yet another Molly Tee from Pattern Union. Here's an instance where being a little more focused taught me something. At some point during the day, the thought went through my mind, "I so love wearing a pencil skirt and t-shirt."   

In this photo I was showcasing the tights that I made. Sadly, this pattern is not available, but I am working on a pair of self-drafted tights. More on those soon. 

The dress I am wearing is from Pattern Union. She has this great dress pattern that only has 1 seam down the center back, the Sumekko Dress. How much easier can it get?!! I added the flanges at the sleeves, just to give the dress the hint of a sleeve. I paired it with a washable wool tee that I made using Londa's Terrific 'T' Knit Top. This is another t-shirt pattern that I really love. It has a number of neckline options and sleeve lengths. 

I so love making tights as I can have the freedom of choosing such fun fabrics. These were made with a stretch velvet. I paired the tights with a great sweatshirt pattern from Naughty Bobbins Patterns, the La Megeve Pullover. There will be more of these in my wardrobe!

This is a pattern where money was well spent since I have now made 3!!! With this dress, I made a change in the sleeve, giving it a long sleeve, kind of a modified Bishop Sleeve. This if Vogue 9237. This brings me up to October 16th.

Here are the other 2 versions that I made. The orange linen dress is straight off the pattern. The sleeves on the gray dress were modified. I have plans to make 1 more. I want to do a sheer dress with a slip. I think that will be fun.

Although the project of wearing a garment that I've made takes a lot of attention, I think it's one of the best things that I have done for myself in quite a while. There have been other benefits that I did not expect, like just taking better care of myself, even something as simple as making sure I moisturize my body everyday. Who would have thought?!!

One thing that is lacking in my wardrobe is sweatpants and sweatshirts for the winter. I'm on the lookout for some cute patterns. If by chance you have some suggestions, by all means, let me know!

Have a wonderful day, and be sure to wear your me made garments!


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Tuesday, October 27, 2020

A Great Jacket Pattern, Vogue 8483

So often, I begin a project and think that it will take a certain amount of time. Then, I get into the project and it takes almost twice the time I thought it would take! That was my day yesterday. I had a household project that I really wanted to accomplish. I knew it wouldn't be an hour project, but thought 3 or 4 hours max. I began a little after 8, and finished up around 3. Now, I did take a break, but, it still took almost twice the amount of time that I thought it would take. The good news is that I stuck with it, and I am so very proud of what I accomplished. I didn't get my blog post done, but all in all, a good day :)


Last week I posted a jacket that I had made quite some time ago, a little plaid jacket that I absolutely love. For the life of me, I couldn't remember what pattern I used. Kelly was so kind to write in and share the pattern number with me, so I thought I would pass it along. 

The above jacket is Vogue 8483. When I saw the pattern it immediately spurred my memory. I absolutely love the pattern. The jacket on the left has a Claude Montana feel to it. The collar is just so pretty! And, I love it in the relaxed version as well. 

I used a pre-quilted fabric, so no lining. But, the time saved in not lining the jacket was taken up with all the bound seams. In the end, so worth it! Taking the jacket off and having it catch someone's eye, just the best compliment. You know, silent compliments are good too! :)

I love playing with patterns, so the little plaid pumps were a fun shoe to pair with the jacket. 

Kelly said that it took her a while to find the pattern in her size, but she has it now! I love when perseverance pays off :) I did find a couple on Ebay. You can find them HERE. There wasn't anything available on Etsy. But, if you like the pattern, just put it in an alert so that when new patterns come up, you'll know. I do that quite often. 

I am super excited as I found the plaid below at Cali Fabrics. I'm making a pair of leggings and a turtleneck that I can pair with this jacket. I'll pair it with a solid skirt, but still, you'll see me coming ;)

It always seems that the projects that take longer than I had thought are ultimately the projects that I am the most proud of. Strange how that happens. Even the quilted jacket in this post, I had thought, "oh this will be a snap." Although it took longer than expected, it was all worth it in the end. 

Happy Sewing!!!


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